CNO Beyond Program obtains FAA approval for Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations with uAvionix Installation
Published January 25, 2023
Bigfork, MT – uAvionix today announced that the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) Beyond Program received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations using uAvionix SkyLine™ Managed C2 and Detect and Avoid sensors on the Emerging Aviation Technology Center UAS Test Range. This marks the second BVLOS waiver by the FAA for the combination of uAvionix SkyLine software and SkyLink™ hardware in as many months and allows drone pilots operating at the CNO range to leverage only an Electronic Observer while meeting requirements to remain well-clear of crewed aircraft while the uncrewed aircraft is beyond the pilot’s visual range of sight.
“This approval is a major milestone for the Choctaw Nation’s Emerging Aviation Technology Center,” said James Grimsley, Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. “With this approval we achieved a major milestone in the FAA Beyond program by enabling BVLOS test flights for our partners and customers by leveraging the permanently deployed hardware and software from uAvionix.”
The approved waiver signifies that uAvionix and the CNO have demonstrated to the FAA that the aircraftdetect and avoid systems, procedures, and the control network meet the safety threshold for operations in the national airspace. Key components of the system deployed on the UAS Test Range include the uAvionix SkyLine C2 management platform and pingStation3 dual-mode ADS-B receivers. The SkyLine C2 management platform is integrated with the DeTect™ Harrier radar as part of the surveillance layer and used to control several CNO and uAvionix owned eVTOL aircraft through the uAvionix muLTElink and SkyLink series of C2 radios.
“Successfully demonstrating safe and controlled Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations is critical to meet the growing demand for the use of drones in everything from package delivery to search and rescue operations,” adds Marcus Hartman, Aviation Operations Manager for CNO. “Our collaboration with uAvionix establishes the Advanced Technology Center and the FAA Beyond program as key leaders for this important work.”
“We are incredibly proud to be a Beyond partner with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma”, said Christian Ramsey, uAvionix President. “This is our second waiver in two weeks based on our SkyLine and Skylink technology stack and DAA sensor integration. Having this capability available at CNO enables our customers to conduct testing and demonstration in Oklahoma and will further serve as guidance for future applications leveraging this concept of operations.”
The SkyLine™ C2 product ecosystem and its innovative muLTElink™ radio, a single low-SWaP avionic device, enable dynamic selection of the best radio link between LTE, ISM, aviation protected C Band and SATCOM, while presenting the end user with real time monitoring of system health and visualization of various integrated DAA sensors. To learn more about the SkyLine Network and uAvionix’s suite of Low-SWaP aviation-grade C2 radios, visit uavionix.com/products/skyline or contact [email protected].
About The Choctaw Nation
The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 225,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity.
Contact Kristina Humenesky for any media relations needs at [email protected].
uAvionix was founded with the mission of bringing safety solutions to the unmanned aviation industry in order to aid in the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into National Airspace Systems (NAS). uAvionix offers low SWaP TSO certified and uncertified avionics for General Aviation (GA), Airport Surface Vehicles and the UAS markets. The team consists of an unparalleled engineering and management team with a unique combination of experience within avionics, surveillance, airport services, UAS aircraft development, radio frequency (RF), and semiconductor industries.
About The BEYOND Program
A Presidential Memorandum established the UAS IPP on October 25, 2017. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) instituted it as a three-year program to enable state, local, and tribal governments, in collaboration with industry to advance more complex UAS operations in the National Airspace System (NAS). Under the IPP, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) executed Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) with 10 state, local, and tribal governments to conduct advanced UAS operations to advance safe and secure integration.
The nine IPP lead participants accomplished many achievements under the IPP, and the FAA shared the relevant data and lessons learned with the appropriate policymakers and regulatory teams within the FAA and DOT to inform regulations, policy, and guidance. The FAA concluded the IPP on October 25, 2020, as mandated by statute and decided to continue the partnerships and progress it made under the IPP to continue to address remaining challenges. The BEYOND program started on October 26, 2020, to continue the partnerships with eight of the nine IPP participants.
The program will focus on operating under established rules rather than waivers, collecting data to develop performance-based standards, collecting, and addressing community feedback and understanding the societal and community benefits, and to streamline the approval processes for UAS integration.